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Fight Inflation with Cash Back Credit Cards

Last updated on May 5th, 2022

2022 is fast shaping to be the year of inflation and stretched budgets. However, consider applying for a cash back credit card before you finalize your yearly budget and financial plan. Here’s why cash back credit cards just might be inflation-proof:

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Why Cash Back Credit Cards Are Ideal for Fighting Inflation

Inflation is the word on every American’s tongue in 2022. While wages continue to rise, they are being outpaced by run-away inflation, reaching 7.5% in 2021. Because of this rising cost of living, many Americans are unsure where to turn to help save money and stretch their budgets.

One popular inflation-busting idea is to get a cash back credit card. Cash back is one of the simplest (and most valuable) credit card rewards because it can help you:

  • Pay down your card statement balance
  • Make deposits into checking or savings accounts
  • Use the rewards to purchase gift cards, products, or other services

Cash back might not be as sexy as travel rewards points, such as with premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Platinum, or Capital One Venture X, but they provide everyday value people can rely on – and often come with a low annual fee or no annual fee at all.

Inflation-Proof (Almost) Cash Back Credit Cards You Should Consider Getting

Wondering where to start with cash back credit cards? Here is a quick breakdown of some of the most popular cash back credit card options on the market today:

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is Citibank’s latest cash back credit card. The card earns 5% back on your highest spending category each billing period, placing it on par with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards, Wells Fargo Active Cash, or the Chase Freedom Flex.

The 5% back categories with the Custom Cash include the following and is limited to the first $500 spent every billing period. Any rewards earned after that threshold will be 1% back:

Dining Fitness clubs Grocery stores
Drugstores Gas stations Home improvement stores
Travel & transit (select) Live entertainment Streaming services (select)

The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the premier unlimited cash back cards on the market – and it is easy to see why. The card earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, with no annual fees. That cash back takes the form of 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back when you pay it off.

While the Citi Double Cash has long been popular for its 2% cash back on purchases, that earning rate is scheduled to change slightly in March 2022. On March 28, 2022, the Double Cash will convert into a ThankYou Point earning credit card.

The ThankYou Rewards family of credit cards is lucrative, including big names such as the Citi Premier® Card, the Citi Rewards+® Card, and the former Citi Prestige luxury credit card. However, despite this move

The Chase Freedom family of credit cards has long been one of the most popular options for cash back rewards. The family includes a range of excellent cash back cards, topped off by the ever-impressive Chase Freedom Flex.

The Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard earns 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter after activation, 5% back on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 5% cash back on eligible gas station purchases on up to $6,000 spent in the first year. The card’s rotating categories are always popular, with Q1 2022 including grocery store purchases and eBay.

For those unsure if a rotating category card is right for them, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers the same 5% back on Chase travel, 3% back unlimited 1.5% cash back on drugstores and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Another popular Chase credit card option for consumers looking to maximize savings is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature. The card earns 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, plus 2% back on dining, gas, and drugstores. This combination makes the card the ideal everyday credit card for the Amazon aficionado – especially given the free Amazon gift card upon approval.

Other Leading Options

Other impressive (and possibly inflation-busting) cash back credit cards include the Discover It Cash Back and the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa.

The Discover It has remained one of the premier cash back credit cards for years, thanks to its steady cash back calendar and Discover’s first-year Cashback Match – automatically doubling the total amount of rewards new accounts earn, with no cap.

The Upgrade Triple Rewards Card is the premier version of the Upgrade experience (including the Upgrade Visa with Cash Rewards and the crypto rewards Upgrade Visa Card with Bitcoin Rewards. The Triple Cash Rewards Visa earns 3% cash back on purchases in the “Home,” “Auto,” and “Health” categories. Since these categories are extensive, there is no telling how much cash back you can rack up with the card.

Related Article: Best Credit Cards for Grocery Shopping

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About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.